University Of Arizona Awards Mexican Journalist

By Rodrigo Cervantes
Published: Monday, October 15, 2018 - 3:44pm
Audio icon Download mp3 (1.16 MB)
Simon Asher/University of Arizona School of Journalism
Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui (center, right) at the University of Arizona's Zenger Award reception.

MEXICO CITY — The Zenger Award by the University of Arizona’s School of Journalism has honored people with extraordinary contributions to freedom of the press for over six decades. And this year, the award went to a controversial Mexican journalist.

Carmen Aristegui has over two decades of experience, mainly in Mexican media, as well as on CNN en Español.

In 2014, Aristegui rocked the boat in Mexico after publishing a report on a suspected case of high-level corruption involving President Enrique Peña Nieto and a constructor. A few months afterwards, Aristegui lost her job at a radio station under circumstances still disputed, but kept working through her website.  

Aristegui recently signed a contracted with a radio station in Mexico City, just a few months before the end of the Peña Nieto administration.

Jeannine Relly is a Journalism associate professor at the University of Arizona  and an affiliated faculty member with Center for Border and Global Journalism.

She has investigated the perils that journalists face in Mexico and said the award recognizes Aristegui’s independent journalism in a challenging environment, but goes beyond.

“She dedicated the award to the memory of all the journalists who’ve been killed in Mexico and what a selfless thing for her to do,” Relly said.

Relly says the award is a reminder of the importance of press freedom in Mexico and its impact on keeping Arizona informed.

“This could be relevant for Arizonans as its closest neighbor. It’s very important for government and businesses that have partnerships with our neighbors in Mexico everyday,” Relly said